Materials for Time Apart

Please feel free to use the following materials for your own time of retreat, or as a starting place to develop materials others.  The packets were used for a “Day Apart” or “Silent Retreat” of about 6 hours.

I offer these retreat materials as-is for your use.  I originally wrote them in the context of a particular congregation in a particular season, sometimes making references to sermons and the like.  I think you may still find them of value at a different time or place.

If you’d like to plan a personal retreat day, I can recommend this guide: Treasure from the Desert: A Brief Guide to Private Personal Retreats with the Lord

May you deepen in relationship with God in your time of retreat.


  • The Journey of Grace (September 2016)
  • What Do You Want Me To Do For You? (May 2016)
  • Advent (December 2014)
  • Knowing God’s Voice (September 2014)
  • God’s Love and Provision (June 2014)
  • Lent (March 2014)
  • Advent (December 2013)
  • The Parable of the Lost Son (September 2013)
  • Fruit of the Spirit (June 2013)

Appendix: Entering In, Meditating on Scripture, Prayers of Examen & Relinquishment

An appendix was provided at each retreat, but is not included in the files above.  I am not including it here because most of the material is not mine.  You can find the source materials here:

Entering In

“What is a retreat? The term does not mean running from the difficulties and responsibilities of life, but rather withdrawing from their immediate and insistent claims in order to be totally available to God. This calls for a certain passivity, receptivity, and ʻletting go,ʼ in a place of comparative solitude and silence, so that the interior Word may be heard in the depths of your being.” – Anglican friar

Take some time to transition out of your regular routine and into silence.  Turn off your phone.  Pour yourself a glass of water or a cup of tea.  Sit down, relax.

As you enter this Quiet Day with God, it can be helpful to express your intentions:

  • What do you desire/expect from this time of retreat?
  • What does your heart sense God may desire for you during this time?
Palm Prayer
I like to begin with the “palm prayer,” in which the physical gestures of our hands symbolize what we are praying.  First, come before God with your hands at a comfortable place in front of you, palms facing down, as you release all that is running through your mind: worries, burdens, responsibilities, distractions of all kinds.  Let go of them; hand them over to God’s care in prayer.  When you feel ready, turn your hands palms-up.  Open your hands to God to show your desire to receive all God may have for you this day.